Volunteer Education Days
Where You Learn the Ropes and Much More
Are you interested in becoming an official Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Volunteer? Do you have eyes on becoming a partner in The People Project? Would you like to be able to be here on your own with access to all the animals?
If you have attended a Tomten Tour and at least two Down and Dirty Work Days (or what we previously called "Open Chores Day"), then Volunteer Education Days are for you.
We take safety (yours and our animals') very seriously here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. Twelve animal species call Tomten home, each with their own feeding, handling,
housing, quirks, tolerances and intolerances. Sure, horses and donkeys may look alike and so do sheep and goats. But you can't presume that one care protocol fits all.
That's why we encourage, (and in fact require), that our volunteers spend a few days learning basic animal-ship. Designed to teach future or current volunteers the ropes, our
Education Days are all about learning, with a little work mixed in. With our animal "student teachers," we will share the ins and outs of their day-to-day care. Fair warning: there
will be some picking, raking and stall cleaning (all part of day-to-day care!); but participants will also learn everything from what to feed to when to feed to how to feed. And who
lives where and why. It doesn't stop there, though. Everyone will learn the basics of natural horsemanship and how to apply it to each species (natural animal-ship). You'll also
learn how to clear animals away from the gate, interact safely with our herds, put on a halter, lead, apply fly spray, groom, bathe and much, much more.
We know it may all sound fairly simple and though we probably require that our volunteers spend more time than most observing and learning our methods of safe handling, we
firmly believe it is worth the time investment—for you, the animals, our visitors and Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. Traversing safely through herds of horses, cows, and the
occasional large Berkshire pig, being aware of the hierarchy and where you fit in, is more complicated than you might think—especially if you add hay and grain to the mix. The
more you know, the more you practice, the more you can build up your knowledge base and your confidence level and get involved. We guarantee you will learn something new each time you attend.
Your ticket to success is FREE. You are welcome to join us at one Education Day for every two Work Days (and past Work Days count!).
In case you want to ace your Tomten "test" (or win at Scrabble or Jeopardy): We have three species of "ruminants" at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary: cows, goats and sheep. Said to
have four stomachs, they actually have just one stomach with four compartments: the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum. Ruminants undergo a special
digestive process to break down hay, grass and other course food they eat. When they first eat, they chew the food just enough to swallow it. The "cud" then goes to the third and
fourth stomachs, (the omasum and abomasum), where it is fully digested.
Get a Head Start
...on your Tomten Education by Visiting/Liking/Following/Sharing Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Facebook page every day.
Problem: animals on both side of the gate and you need to drive a Gator full of hay into the pasture. Solution: Learn
how to safely clear everyone away at a Tomten Education Day.
See more on Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Instagram page.